Schizofriendly

He was suicidal when i met him, so I can't really blame myself for much. Running into him was an accident; it was merely by chance. But honest to God, it was the best chance I've ever gotten.

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3. ~3~

The town I trudged into that morning was small and quiet. Traffic was minimal and it seemed as if there were hardly any people.

My feet hurt and my eyes are heavy from years of inadequate sleep. My hair is tangled and my stomach is starting to growl. I rub my tummy, trying to soothe it's angry grumbling. Looking around, I notice a gas station just down the street.

 

I don't need a big meal, just a cheap one.

 

I open the gas station door, several jingle bells signaling my arrival. I immediately walk to the back of the store and begin my search for cheap snacks. Grabbing a bag of chips and a can of soda, I sneak back around to the checkout. 

"Will that be all?" the woman behind the counter asks.

I look around the room, checking to see if that's really all I wanted.I was about to turn my attention back to the woman when I'd accidentally locked eyes with a stranger. He was standing a few isles away, his eyes on mine, burning like hot coals.

"Uhm..." I mumbled and he averted his eyes, looking down at whatever he was holding.

"Yeah," I turned towards the counter, "that's all."

 

~O~

 

I leaned against the store's brick wall and began ripping open my chips. I shoved them into my mouth by the handful, moaning with satisfaction. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, I glance back into the gas station store.

Big mistake. A picture of me flashed on the screen. Next, was my father. The subtitles under his face read:

 

"I was out grocery shopping and when I came back...she was gone. I don't know why she'd run away," he started crying, his face contorting into an ugly expression, "I miss her so much. Someone please bring my baby back."

 

I frowned, bile rising in my throat. A pig is what he is; a lying pig. I scowl at the television screen, anger flushing my cheeks. Everyone in the store was ignoring the t.v., well, except for him: the mystery stranger. He drags his eyes to mine, to the t.v. screen, then back to mine. His still burning eyes are now cold and calculative as they make their way to me.

"Hey!" My head snaps in the direction of the shrill voice. Two police officers are looking at me with questioning expressions. "You're Shae McCall, the missing girl on the news."

My heartbeat is racing, my legs practically liquid.

"We're going to need you to come with us," one of them steps forward.

Without hesitation, I break into a sprint, running far, far away from them. My eyes sting with held-back tears as I hear footsteps behind me.

 

I can't go back now.

 

I push myself harder, willing my body to move faster. My throat hurts and my lungs burn. I can't run much farther. Just as I am about to give up, I feel an arm slip around my waist as another covers my mouth. The hold around me is tight; so tight that my tired form has no way of struggling against it. From what I can tell, I'm in a dark alleyway, sitting in garbage. My nose crinkles at the dank smell.

"Hurry! She went this way!"

My eyes widen, and I scoot back into something hard; the chest of my captor.

 

I may be scared of who's holding me, I think to myself, but I'm terrified of returning home to my father.

 

I scoot even further into the person behind me, choosing one fear over another. In return, they hold me close as we both keep silent.

"Do you see her..." the officer's voices trail off as they run until they are no longer in sight.

I let out a shaky breath, closing my eyes to ward off tears.

"Are you alright?" a deep, husky voice tickles my ear, and the hand over my mouth falls away.

"Mhmm..." I'm at a loss for words.
 

The person behind me stands, leaving me to sit on trash bags. I crane my neck back to see who had helped me. And in that moment, all the colour left my face.

"Y-you...you're..."

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